Page:An Australian language as spoken by the Awabakal.djvu/324

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

4 an austkalian language.

1. Classification. Nouns in Minyug may be arranged tlius : — Life-nouns.

(1.) Persons (y.'irtsc.) ; all proper and common names of males. (2.) Persons {/em.) ; all proper and common names of females. (3.) Animals ; all otlier living creatures.

Non-life nouns. (1.) Names of things. (2.) Names of places.

I divide them into life-nouns or nouns denoting living beings, and no7i-li/e notuis or names of things and places, because the former often join the suffixes to lengthened forms of the nouns, while the non-life nouns have the suttixes attached to the simple nominative form. Again, subordinate divisions of both of these classes is necessary, because the adjectives and pronouns often vary in form according as they are used to qualify names of human beings, or animals, or thing's.

A few examples will make this plainer. If a man who speaks Minyug is asked Avhat is the native word for 'big' or 'large,' he replies, kumai. This kumai is the plain or vocabulary form, which may be used on all occasions to qualify any kind of word. But if a native is speaking of a 'large spear,' he will usually say kuminna cuan. Either kumai or kuminna will suit, but the longer form is more common; kuminna is used only to qualify such things as spears, canoes, and logs, and never to qualify persons and places. If a native is speaking of a ' big man,' Avhile he might say kumai paigal, the usual form is kumai -bin, which is then a noun ; but since all nouns can also be used as adjectives, the longer form kumai-bin paigal is also correct. To express, in Minyug, 'that boy is big,' we might say either kully kumai- bin cub bo, or cubbo kumai. The feminine form of kumai is kumai-na-gun, which is only the suffix -g\in added to the form in -na ; like kumai-bin, this is either a noun, when it means ' a big woman,' or an adjective used to qualify a feminine noun. The suffix -gun is sometimes added to the plain form ; as, mobi, 'blind,' mobi-gun, fein. ; sometimes to the masculine form ; as, balig-gal, 'new,' 'young,' ball g-gal -gun, feni. ; and sometimes to the form in -na ; as, kumai-na-gun. Some adjec- tives have only two forms, while others have three, four, and even five. In some cases diffigrent words are used, instead of different forms of the same word. The principal suffixes used for the mas- culine are, -bin, -gin, -jara, -rim, -ri, -li, -gari, -gal. The table given below, for ordinary adjectives, adjective pronouns, and numerals, illustrates these uses. Forms rarely used have a f after them.

�� �